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In a place of extraordinary hardship,
people still rise

In rural West Papua, 41 percent of people live below the poverty line. Rates of malnutrition and HIV and AIDS are the highest in Indonesia.

Working alongside our local church partners, we support indigenous-led initiatives that are helping people be food secure, healthy and free from poverty and inequality.

Help us grow a new future for the people of West Papua.

In 2016, the highlands region of West Papua was gripped by its worst drought in two decades. Crops and livelihoods were devastated, and food aid struggled to reach the worst affected areas in the remote, mountainous countryside.

Thousands of people stared starvation in the eye. People like Beni, Sarah and their two children.

Our crop grew tiny and hard with the lack of rain; it was the same across the entire region… the whole village was wondering if we’d eventually starve if we didn’t move.

Thankfully, Beni’s family didn’t starve and they didn’t leave. West Papua’s people are strong and resilient – given the right tools, they will grow stronger.

Hit hard by the crisis, Beni and his family were among a group with whom our local partners have been working to outfox drought and disaster. Our partners worked with an agriculturalist to train people like Beni to plant crops more resilient to droughts and the changing climate.

The soy and kidney beans have been growing well, and Beni’s crops have been so profitable that his neighbours have been asking him for tips on growing their own.

Imagine what it’s like, for the first time ever, to be able to plan confidently for your future. That’s the experience of Beni and his wife Sarah today. Proud of their hard work and expertise, they’ve now expanded their skills to making tofu out of their soy beans – increasingly sought after in the highlands.

Stand with the people of West Papua

Help us support our local partners so they can work with many more families like Beni’s – families who want to improve their skills to create food and income opportunities.

Your donation will support workers in the field, supply seeds and nurture more families to take up life-changing opportunities like Beni did.

We know the lean season will come again in West Papua – the changing climate is increasing the risk of failed crops, and with them, death and despair. Our partners have already improved the food security, heath and nutrition of dozens of families.

With your support, together with the hard work of people like Beni and his family, we can help communities lift themselves out of poverty.

Please donate to this inspiring work. It’s just one of the ways we’re working alongside the people of West Papua to improve lives.

How we’re helping people grow a new future:

  • Working with Papuan farming families in the highlands to introduce soy and kidney beans to their crops. This means better income generation, improved food security and healthier diets.
  • Supporting a specialist doctor and her team at a HIV and TB clinic to provide treatments and work to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through community education.
  • Investing in women; providing business training and equipping them with the tools they need to overcome poverty and inequality.


All donations over $2.00 are tax-deductible.

In the event of these projects being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to similar relief and development projects in the region. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we work alongside. All photos by GKI-TP and UnitingWorld staff with consent of all persons shown.

Note on naming convention: West Papua refers to the western half of the greater island of New Guinea and comprises the eastern most provinces of Indonesia (Papua and West Papua, respectively). We have used just ‘West Papua’ as it is the name most Australians are familiar with.

UnitingWorld is a member of the International Coalition for Papua (ICP), a coalition of faith-based and civil society organisations that are concerned about human rights violations in West Papua and seek greater transparency and peaceful solutions to conflict.